Written by Mia:
We don’t want to name names or anything but some of you have been wondering where we went. Sorry we haven’t been keeping you up to date with our adventures…July and August went by in a blur!
Back in Menorca
Early in July we started making our way back to Puerto de Addaia to have some work done on Itchy Foot. It is a LOT of work and emotional stress to prepare for a haul out (think of it as handing a young baby over to a babysitter for the first time). The haul out and the work done is a topic for a completely separate blog post coming your way in the next few days (optimistically – or next few weeks more likely).
This little family worked hard getting everything ready to leave for the UK, well more accurately it was Itchy Foot we were preparing for our absence. We had a VERY long to do list to complete – it was separated into two parts: to do before the haul out (when we had water onboard and around the hull) and to do after we are out of the water (stuff to ensure that everything is safe and stored correctly and that we don’t come back to bugs or weather damage) Additionally, each of those lists were again prioritised so that the important stuff is done to give us the best possible chance of returning to a happy Itchy Foot.
Our best attempts to gauge how long a job will take are always underestimated and so in the end we managed 3/4 of the list with early mornings and late nights and running from the shower to the boat to the car to rush to the airport. I will take this opportunity to again brag about Teo and his patience and willingness to help us. He is one incredible Little Man and we thank our lucky stars for our very reasonable and self reliant 5 year old. His affinity for hose pipes and water did help! Our treat of the day was being invited by Stuart and Anne to use their pool, it just might have saved us!
But, after a lot of hard work and stress we made it. The boat got onto the land, she got a good clean and finally the the manager at the yard gave us a lift into Mahon and then a short bus to the airport. Off to Newcastle and the UK!
It is always a pleasure to visit Jon’s parents in Newcastle and this time is was even more so! They met us at the airport and didn’t say but were probably shocked at the bedraggled state of us. It was extra luxurious to arrive this time, a cup of tea and a glass of chilled wine, a short catch up and we soon fell into the perfectly prepared beds that feel like home. It is amazing what a little (lot of) spoiling can do for the soul. Teo got to play with his cousins for the weekend and he was on cloud 9. Jon spent a lot of extra time renewing Teo’s passport and following up deliveries of things ordered but yet to arrive. But he also got to spend an long overdue evening at the pub with an old school friend, drinking and putting the world to rights. After we all spent a lovely long weekend in Newcastle we were happy to get on the plane to Exeter to spend some time on the Isles of Scilly.
We celebrated Jon’s birthday with Jon’s parents in St. Mary’s and it was lovely to all be together and on the day we bought him some cupcakes, decorated the room and went on a supper boat across to St. Agnes for a lovely meal. While we were there, Jon and I also had a date and drank Champagne with fish and chips, a winning combination! It was a perfect few days. And to sweeten it further Jon’s brother Adrianwith wife Julia and daughter Alexia joined us for our last night on St. Mary’s before we all headed over to another island, Tresco. Teo was over the moon!
Tresco never disappoints and it was just as lovely as we remembered! We were all together, Jon’s two brothers, their families and of course Teo’s Grandma and Granddad. The four cousins got lots of time together and I think that was the top of Teo’s list. We had bikes and there were treasure hunts for the rainy days and beach combing when it was sunny.
We even went out at low tide and picked up seaweed to spot crabs and also saw some bright red star fish. We stayed in a gorgeous cottage called “Crab” adjoining Alexia and parents in “Clam”. We had dinners in the main house, called “Samphire”, went across to Bryher to ‘The Crab Shack’ and at our local ‘The Ruin Beach Cafe’. One night Teo had a sleepover with Alexia and Jon and I went to The New Inn for a date. Two dates in a week, swoooooon! It always goes by so quick and soon it was time to say good bye to everyone, that is so hard! We had an exciting trip back to the main land as our flight was cancelled due to fog. We took a jet boat to Penzance, passing by Lands end on the way, and later got a 3 hour taxi to Exeter. Thankfully we had the great company of Jon’s brother and family, Adrian, Julia and Alexia to speed along the trip.
After picking up a hire car in Exeter, we drove down to Bournemouth and spent a couple of days with Jon’s friends from university days. Ollie and Dawn, the host and hostess with the most and mostest had another BBQ. The food was amazing, the garden a treasure of kids games and it was really nice to catch up with everyone. It’s safe to say the adults and the kids had a wonderful time and again it was over way too soon! Wish we had the chance to see each other more often.
Leaving early on Monday morning we had to drive from the south coast to the east coast, as we were flying out of Southend airport, many will be surprised to hear there is an airport there. A bumpy start to the day as the wing mirror of the car had been smashed off during the night but Avis were quick about switching out cars and we got on the road – thankfully made good time to the airport. As it turned out the flight was delayed and we didn’t get back to Itchy Foot until after midnight.
Back in Menorca, again
Back in Menorca, and we lived on board Itchy Foot, on the land in the boat yard for three days and it was sweltering! Then Stuart and Anne, our new friends and fellow sailors in Addaia, came to our rescue and made a very generous offer to let us live in their apartment while they were away. It has been a godsend to have a place to escape the heat. Jon has been working on the wiring, electrics, navigation equipment, anti-fouling etc. and did not have to put everything away each night. So the boat is a bit of a workyard/workshop/bomb site. The apartment comes with wonderful things like a fridge and plumbing! Not to mention the swimming pool and reliable internet. So, we are spoiled rotten.
In the last few weeks our days have been spent either doing boat maintenance or looking after Teo. Unfortunately we’ve all been various degrees of ill. Teo had a bad bout of Hand, Foot and Mouth disease which is very common with kids but along with a nasty fever also left him with a mouth full of ulcers. Jon also felt the it was the right time to get a nasty throat infection – thankfully the NHS Direct information site recommended getting out in the baking heat of the Spanish summer and painting the bottom of a boat while wearing a full-length protective suit, mask, gloves and goggles as the best cure. It took a couple of days but seems to the have fixed it – oh and the added benefit of the boat having a nice clean bottom. Teo is particularly pleased as he always said that the weeds accumulated in Palma marina made Itchy Foot need a nappy – no more nappies needed!
There we are, still in Addaia but very well taken care of and hoping to get Itchy Foot back in the water at the end of the week.
As to when we move on? Fingers crossed for very early September.